tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN November 10, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EST
some years to develop methodologies in order to address this. we are cooperating with other organizations. we have an in-depth investigation team that looks into this. an in-depth analysis, with interviews with all parties involved. they apply a very structured methodology in order to see the different possibilities of causation and what are the most common ones.
something she may look get include regulatory practices. for example, one practice that we have seen and that people have told us about is people who have a clear recovery problems. they sometimes wear sunglasses at night. these are things that might point towards a functional decline in the absence of having actual medication or driving evaluation information, so that is sort of an extreme example of self regulatory behavior that you might be able to look at. >> thank you.
mr. schaffer, can you talk about what is most effective in reducing accidents or collisions? >> thank you for that question. yes, what has led to a number of treatments, not just guidelines, but treatments with the uniform traffic control devices we feel have led to two safety improvements and hopefully less crashes and collisions at this particular locations, both among drivers and pedestrians, , i would like to speak about where the majority of those occur, and that is where everything from stock lines to making sure you have good reflected not only signals but also signals in place, and when i need in place, right over in the natural lane and that they will be using.
as we age, it has definitely become a problem, especially when you have a one-turn lane if not more. a mixture of putting that right over the delayed as well as stenciling does matter. another thing that can help that has worked quite well is a radii. it reduces the speed, and it reduces that speed and helps the older pedestrian. there is a lot less be there, and they generally can help save on the distance, but if they do not help on the crossing distance, they can also look at the pedestrian island, for example, where they can use that as a refugee island.
there are a number of countermeasures that truly have led to one standard that is occurring, and this is not being done for the older driver, but being done across the country. that is why they are in the manual itself now and all different locations, regardless of the age, so we feel it is truly a success in making it safer for the driver and pedestrian.
>> again, to mr. schaffer, what about those that do not? >> going around the country, and secondly, to get to the mutcd. that is something that takes years, to train and get those roadways, the intersections, as well as all segments of the roadway and proved, in those particular areas, as well as for them to get applied. this is a process.
i want to point out that it is a balance. it is not something that you can say you're going to do it for the driver, because you want to think about the traffic, and i think that is something that we've been very successful in doing. this includes an improved roadway for seniors. >> for the 2011 design guide, what are some of the new elements that you are including to manage or reduce risks for drivers, if you can give us a little sneak preview? >> basically, we are using the
2009 manual. now, yes, we have made recommendations on the countdown signals and the like. but we have also made it so that those are there. we are looking at how best practices are being done around the country and really looking at what particular treatments or countermeasures -- that is how we are looking at it. a document is somewhat flexible, but you can do these things for the driver and not really harm the pedestrian in the process,
so we really feel that this document is going to be, one, much more multi modal and much more comprehensive than any of the documents, any of the handbooks, excuse me, that we have had before. i think that will be a great change. secondly, the best or integrate practices that are being done in places across the country, they are using treatments that have been very successful, and so this is why this document has gone even beyond where we were before to be much more multi modal and much more comprehensive in addressing the aging rove user. -- road user. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> national institute on aging, and if i could just remind everyone to introduce yourself with your name and organization.
>> thanks. the first question was asked by one person, and it is, when vehicle design requirements should regulators consider to minimize distraction for all of the drivers? >> you may want to talk to them, but i really want to address what you're looking at for the roadway itself, and i will point out intersections, and i am sure you have seen some that are just loaded with signs, just loaded. you are wondering, my god, where do i go? that is an issue. you have to be very honest, and how that is addressed is very
important. as we age, one of the nicest things can be, basically, can you see it? can you see it during the day, it can you see it at night, and that is the retro reflectivity that was recommended in the 2001 and is continuing on is surely important. everybody can see the signs. >> could i hear the question again? was it not -- >> it was about vehicle design. >> ok, i am speaking out of -- i just wanted to point out on the roadway -- >> i think that is important, too. the distraction is obviously the signage, and then, "where are we
to how you keep the driver attentive and engaged while driving. you do not want to reduce the work load too much, because then you may end up in a state where you're becoming drowsy or tired, or you put your attention to something else. we want to change it from inadequate attention location, as a better word for it. so i think we need to release understand that balance, and i know, for sure, at mit, you have been looking at these, but there is actually a balance, destruction being a major address, and we are addressing it in terms of both having the car brake itself if you are about to go into another vehicle or like a pedestrian.
we have that technology. this helps drivers, not only the older ones. if you're in a heavy traffic environment. we have to look at what drivers are doing, and what we want to do is assist the driver to try to keep their attention looking forward with their hands on the wheels. >> i would suggest that right now, we do not have a data, so from a researchers point of view, we need to get data out there to see how this changes
across the life span. there is some information that diseases such as diabetes, particularly in the motor carrier industry and things like that may have an impact as to how much you're able to manage behind the wheel. that said, things that have entered the car -- we seem to think that this is something that has come from here, but rather, it is migrating. we should look at personalization. do you what that display that? something the baby boomers are really good about, they get all about me. >> we're talking about what is going on in the system right now. there was a project that was completed a few years ago, which was designed to basically come
up with a system that can detect what is going on in the environment. the potential workload produced by the environment, what it may be, and they predict what the workload is for that. we do not know how the workload changes with age. a lot more research needs to be done in that area, but that is how we're going to manage destruction in cars with all of these new technologies coming in.
>> what sort of affectations are expecting to see? >> i would say there is still much more we need to learn from this. the approach that we are taking so far is that we try to promote good behavior from drivers, so, for instance, if we implement the technology, say, for instance, well, elaine departure warning. we promote that you use your blinker, and there have been some studies looking at that to see that it helps drivers use their blinker more. we are also addressing it if you take the automotive brake.
so i do not have to pay attention. it can be very harsh and very, very late. we put it outside of your comfort zone, so if you are an attentive driver, you actually think you are about to crash, and we have studied that using driving simulators. the driver will break. if he knows he is about to impact something, the driver will actually brake, so we are approaching it from that perspective. there is really, much more research required, and we just launched a study where we had 100 volvo cars with all of the latest technologies, and they will be driven for a long period of time, and, actually, during the first four months, the
drivers were not able to use these technologies. we took them off, and then after a few months, we turned them on. we are analyzing that data, so we can see if there is a change in behavior with or without these new technologies, but there is definitely more that needs to be done here. >> that is wonderful. we get a lot of grant applications on older drivers and driving, and in the session tomorrow morning, i anticipate many, many more. i have a lot of questions, but i think i will do for them all, except for one, which started coming in to us if you weeks ago due to a story in "the new york times" with people asking how far away is this really going to happen, and they think about what i have heard from the panel is that is really truly
insulating the driver from the driver experience, and that could be well what we do not want to have happened. nevertheless, is this something we can see in the near future, and if so, what can we be doing to prepare for it? >> we are actually looking into the same aspect. we are involved in a research project. this is where the driver can actually connected to a road frame so you can do your ordinary business, typically on the way to work. you're in a line of cars. you are just driving, so the idea is that we can help you drive more safely, and, plus, you have the convenience of being able to do your email on
your way to work. the technology is quite advanced. we are able to make the traffic flow more dense, so we can have more cards on the road, so to speak, and, also, you of the environmental aspects, so the idea is you connect where you have a commercial driver, a trade driver and as you come to your exit, you engage from the train, and the aspects with these technologies is that it is a choice of a driver. there is the freedom to be able to drive whenever you want, wherever you want, so that is going to be difficult to take away.
it is still the choice of the driver, and the driver is in control. >> one comment and one warning. the comment is about what you buy in show room today is about 10 years old, and so as terms -- in terms of the speed of having an autonomous vehicle, that is where researchers, the industry, in many your concerned about this would like us to go. the road to autonomy will have many errors and accidents. a mixture of robotic drivers and individual drivers. how did we learn how to use these technologies? what we are looking at is older drivers as becoming the lifestyle leader of these new autonomy issue is. the baby boomers, we are the
beginning of the future. >> next table? our time is up. >> for the second table? >> jana lynott, with aarp. my question comes back to road design. the perspective of all panelists, i think your expertise you can contribute, all of you. in the last panel session, we learned that fragility is a bigger issue than frailty, so we should really be tried to reduce the number of severe crashes, severe and fatal crashes, as much as possible, and there is considerable research that shows that excessive vehicles before a given environment, be it an urban thoroughfare or a two-lane
whorl highway, leads to crashes. -- or a two-lane rural highway. in large part, due to reduced overall speeds. my question for the panel is have you considered whether traffic calming measures, roundabouts might actually benefit older drivers, but to nearly? it should essentially provide increased reaction time with a lower speed environment. >> we basically a stand at lower speeds are a benefit.
there is no hard research. whether you go to new york city or houston or places in arizona to places where you truly have slowed things down and used a number of treatments are ready to make it easier to drive around as well as to walk, so this is a number of treatments to use, and you can call it a road diet, but just to make it safer. >> certainly, for any age group, there is complexity.
they yet been trying to traffic calm -- they have been. they have been tried to reduce the stress all in one place. for a driver driving, using a cell phone, all look the same time. >> we have an increased number of roundabouts in sweden, and there is actually a study showed that, yes, to decrease the severity of the collision, but it also increased the number of collisions. we have developed an auto-brake
technology, but more importantly, we have realized that if you want to strive for a crash free future, we have to compromise, and we cannot do it alone. the infrastructure is important, of course, understanding the human being and the driver. we also split responsibilities. this has been very positive on their part. we are working on this same issue with different countermeasures.
this is so we can make sure that we have our ambition and their vision. five years ago -- >> five years ago, we never saw them. why they are safer, and how to negotiate them. these are new kinds of intersections, and people do not know how to negotiate them, and even if there are signs, people are stilconfused. in the areas where they have had significant outreach, training going out to the various groups, explaining why they are being put in, they are much less -- much more obsessed, and i think that needs to be happening more often. >> thank you.
our second question is what are the ones to improve driver addition? >> i think the very first step is an assessment of vision. many visual problems can be corrected or at least can be mitigated to some degree. cataracts, for example. they almost always can be treated properly. glasses and prismatic lenses can help improve vision problems. so i think that is the first place to go, is actually trying to improve vision. given that, it is hard to do much in the vehicle in terms of vision. you can try and correct night- vision problems with infrared systems, but that does not help
you with all of the of the problems with driving at night. i think self regulation is an excellent way to moderate vision problems in driving. if people truly are feeling uncomfortable driving at night are driving in certain situations, they should be evaluated and potentially restrictive driving from those places. >> we do take that quite a lot into consideration, not just for older drivers, but for all drivers, their ability to see the traffic environment, giving the sense to a driver the possibilities to see. information about the car and
the speed, it's a poor, so all of those geometrical elements are taken into consideration note -- information about the car and the speed, so all of those geometrical elements are taken into consideration. i think we are starting to see more and more mature technologies. this is also a help to feel more comfortable when you're driving at night. >> frankly, i like this because it is a nice segue to another conversation, which should be about driver well-being. what do we need to do to be a safe driver for a long time? the second part would be the new
technologies, and the third, and i am going to quote from a colleague of mine, when we choose a car or design a car, how can we information dim out those things which require our attention? are there certain things that we simply do not need? we have found there are some gender issues. women wanted the clock but dead center. why? they are doing the daily tasks and what the clock in there. we want to dig out and focus those things that are imported.
>> this goes to technology on the roadway, and the roadway technology is very important, one for the aging driver to have an environment, et and you can know exactly where the roadway is. you know where the signs are. you can see all that matters. what we're looking at is that environment. >> ok, and then i suspect in the interest of time, our final question, the federal highway design handbook is a set of
design treatment recommendations, and in light of constricting state and local budgets to implement many important things in the road in varna, which you wrote environment, are there any recommendations or treatments in that handbook that you think should be regulatory in nature, as opposed to merely a recommendation? is there anything that we really should be pushing to have implemented? >> everybody is looking at me. ok. we make recommendations. that is where this is a guidance document, and it is up to really determine whether or not this particular treatment needs to be a standard. we do not do that.
we just make really, good, sound recommendations. it is others, such as the committee, which will make those decisions. that is one of the things that will be coming out in the green book as well as the pedestrian guide again, this is a guidance document. we do not do that. this will determine truly which one would be a standard.
>> aaa will be asking the questions for the next table. >> hi, i am with the aaa foundation for traffic safety, jurek grabowski. selected easier or safer roads to navigate. also, some are able to be identified with systems. >> i do think that is the case, and our center is working on a project right now with paul green to develop something like that. .the idea is it would be more
appropriate than what an old person would do it based on other criteria. >> looking at medical related issues or whether it is older, how much does that cause stress? fastest route, and easier routes, but we can do this based on the driving of our aware car, so you can also say i want the fastest but least stressful road. >> i think that might be called the train. [laughter]
>> but is it on time? >> i am sorry to interrupt you. but they're just really is not a stress freeway to get to work. >> -- a stress-free way to get to work. >> one thing is to give the engineers and planners tools in which to evaluate and correct. this is to improve those roadways overtime. this is so our stakeholders can use those. >> ok, so our second question, there is some concern.
some older ones may not be able to identify the actual crash threat or know how to react to that threat. is this a legitimate concern, and how can this be addressed? >> i think i should answer that. yes, it is a concern, of course come in we are already addressing it. if we take, for instance, the number of different warnings that you can have in the car, there is actually a priority, so, for instance, if there is a forward collision warning and a reverse collision warning, he will not get simultaneous warnings. also, how the warning is executed is different. of course, if you are in a situation and are about to collide with the vehicle in front of you or a pedestrian, we want you to brake.
we want you to have that behavior. we want to grab your attention with an audible signal because we assume you are distracted. the next sign is that you have a red line appearing in front of you in the wind screen, and that red light resembles the brake light of another car, and the natural reaction when you see that in front of you is to apply the brakes, so this is how we try to deal with the issues. there is the intelligent driver information system in the sense that you will not get other information that is disturbing for you in such situations, so we have a thought process around the, in reevaluating it. when it comes to critical situations, we evaluate the
different sorts of drivers, old as well as young. >> some things we should still be thinking about, is the future of a car more of a learning vehicle, where they will be able to detect that joe drives a certain way, his wife drives a different way, and the vehicle will throw these warnings out according to how far you deviate from that, so that will hopefully clear up some of the confusion that an older driver or any other driver might feel. >> in addition to older drivers, what new types of data will be collected in relation to the new technology, and will that be available to the researchers and so forth? >> well, we are currently heading a research project where we are looking into these different aspects, and as a test, we are using real cars in
a real traffic environment. this is either in direct experiments directly. we use advanced tracking equipment, and we have studies where we have drivers going for a longer period, a time where we collect data, and we had academia involved. this will be when the date is analyzed and so forth. and we are looking at accident causation, trying to address the issues factor by factor and try to understand how important they are, why they are important and,
with the ambition, trying to understand how to address it. this is a five-year project, and we are on our second year now. we're just about to launch a publication where we will study how older drivers in relation to middle-aged drivers, et how the observer and how they make observations when driving into intersections. most of that will be publicly available. >> i would strongly -- perhaps ibm -- i am misreading what you are saying.
what we are looking at is how we can use that data and how it will be usable in a court of law, like in insurance proceedings. the question is not whether the data is out there. the question is whether other investigators can use it, and can they catch up with where the technology already is today? >> ok, this is a question for dick schaffer. what about across the united states? and are there any barriers, and if so, what are they, and what strategies are there for overcoming these barriers? >> we present, as i stated, out to our stakeholders at the state and local level, we train them, and this is done by a resource center to really explain why they need to learn this. what the handbook is
recommending and what they can truly do, so this is being done around the country. everything from roundabouts to intersection design, too retro reflectivity, numbers of things that are recommended in here that deal with the roadway segments and the like. it varies about the particular measures, taking those measures and actually including an intersection, building a new roadway with these in mind, so i cannot tell you that one state does it this way and another doesn't this way. nope. what i can say is that, yes, it is much quicker for the most part when you go out and give this training to your state, because they see it firsthand, and they get to understand it firsthand, versus the time it takes to get into their.
-- there. it is a lot longer, it is a standard. it is going to be used. when you take it to different places around the country, it is going to be used there because they get the better understanding when it gets around to the manual, that takes some good time before it ever gets to the national committee to really say, ok, and now we are going to be looking at this. does this fit, etc., etc., to where it will be getting into the next version, so i think process was, that is why we take it out and do these trainings with the resources under out to the local, because we feel that we're going to get -- those are going to be made quicker. >> ok, and i think we are done.
>> the la people. >> my name is tom manuel. will they be able to calibrate or just for the varying abilities or skills of each driver? and i mean the physical or cognitive abilities, or are the technologies more for environmental factors? >> the vision that we have, the vision that my colleagues have for the aware car, is a car that can detect your well being behind the wheel, your level of stress, whether it is eye movement, looking at variations, skin conductance, and other things. but it is more than just detecting. that is the easy part. but can you display it in such a way where you do not disturb the driver or annoy them, or can you
have the car when the driver -- have the car renew the drive? -- driver? and then there are the variations of how you dry day to day and have the variations. we move in that direction, and technology will start to compensate for certain behavior patterns. in certain capabilities. >> if i may add, cognitive or not, not specifically looking at the driver as such but looking at how the driver is actually using the vehicle and how the driver is positioning the vehicle in terms of the lane markings, so if you talk the car to recognize the typical driving patterns note between the lane markings between a tired or an
under concentrated driver, we are trying to take steps to try 8 to assess that, and i agree with the doctor here that that will proceed, and as we get more and more tools to be able to measure the state of the driver, there are more things that we can do. however, the big challenge for us is to understand how to execute that in connection with the driver, and that is where we need more research in order to understand how drivers be paid in such situations. >> my second question is, when there is a concern for a sudden loss of consciousness or the ability to drive, like we saw come in we were just reminded about the incident in california a few years ago, the complete collapse of the ability to drive or a sudden loss of
consciousness making you are unable to drive, is there any emerging technology that will address that? >> it is extremely hard. of course, you can related back to some of the collision avoidance technologies, but we will never be able to prevent the driver to try to hit something, because the basic philosophy in how we are designing these technologies today is that the driver is always in control. the driver is always in charge. so the car will never take the situation away from the drivers. >> we respect the technology in
the car. this is rarely a sudden catastrophe. there are problems that are indicative, people who sit in the car with them that have been seen over time. the tragedy spot but in california, there was a long line of precursors before that, so the best people in the world are people who sit next to us and identify changes in behavior. >> you have raised the issue of pedestrians. there are older pedestrians. are they more affected in those
numbers, as well? the question is -- >> the question is, we still do not know why. this will make a safer pedestrian varmint for everyone, not just the elderly pedestrian, so where you have an action plan takoma what to truly analyze the factors we are promoting the struggling around the country to make roadways much safer for pedestrians. and that is beyond just simply
what we have in the handbook, so we are moving, i think, real strongly in the pedestrian area to make the roadways safer for all pedestrians, and we are seeing a reduction. we have to know more though and move more to make sure that this continues, in we hope to continue to drop, and not all ages, not just the aging pedestrian who will be affected, simply because we know that the frailty, they are walking slower, and so, the crosswalks are now being changed since either they can be flexible based on where a person is, or it brings them down to 3.5 feet per second verses the old four feet per second, so for all
pedestrians to be able to make it safer and to be able to reduce those fatalities. >> do we see a u-shaped curve, like we do for drivers, where you have more fatalities at the very young and the merry old and not so many in the middle, like pedestrians, is it similar to drivers? with the distribution? >> yes, i understand. no, not as much as far as the older pedestrians. we do not see that. there is a number, yes, but not to the degree of the older driver. >> thank you. i think going back to the technology, i am interested in the idea of customization.
to be able to put the things on that we use the most. is there the potential to make our cars too much fun or to a friendly? i also heard about other drivers. a passenger who is kind of assisting. i think i am really torn in this area, because on the one hand, we do want to be able to serve people well in their cars, but on the other hand, if we make it too easy for people to work around some of these protections -- i know in my minivan, it has a lockout feature once the car is under way. you cannot put in a new destination or continue to manipulate it.
you actually have to stop and pullover and take care of that. yes, it is annoying when i am in the passenger's seat. we are at a stoplight, tried to really quickly get the information in before we start bombing again. it is, it is annoying when we are in the passenger seat and trying to do with, but i value the technology, because i know when the kid is driving the car, and the babysitter is driving the car that they cannot do that while they are driving, and to me, i am trying to figure out the trade-off between the convenience and the safety part of it, and if you can override it and say, "well, i and the passenger. i am just manipulating it because i am the passenger," people are really smart, and they're going to figure out a way to override it when they are the driver, too. how do we protect people from themselves? anyone want to take a crack at that? >> that was just an example to show how older people might
potentially use technology differently than younger people. i agree with you. it is probably a critical feature to lock out entry, unless you have a way of knowing that this is a co- navigating situation. if you do not, the blocking and out makes great sense. it is a balancing act. i am not saying i have the solutions. i am simply making the point that when you put these technologies in vehicles, you need to understand the interactions of what goes on inside the vehicle and how people drive in this age group, and that research needs to be done with new technologies. >> they may be responsible enough to make the right decisions, but what happens when the grand kids are going to use their car. we have a dvd player in the car.
we have three kids, so it comes in real handy on long-distance trips, but we have seen these movies so many times, and i do not see them, we just hear them, and when we went to do something, you have to push the parking brake in in order to see it in the front seat, and it blocks you out, so that does not allow you to do that. we see so many people texting, with a lot of cognitive distractions, and they are increasing. and now we have internet access and the web in the car, so what do we want to have them do?
i know you're talking about processing things. how far do we go with that? >> it is funny. you can customize your house, and you can customize your desktop, but the second largest purchase in your life, you have to take it as it is given to you. this is essentially a class cockpit, to pick the information you want. we know as the industry gets to know as more, we are all individuals, probably in about six or seven segments, so my resolve or alpo know that you can customize your desktop as much as you want, but it will be in a certain way. i suggest will not only make this the ageless, safest car, but when you get into the car, the information that you want will be in front of you, and all of the other stuff will be out.
we have a number of people who like to have a tachometer even though they are driving an automatic. they wanted on their desktop. so i think the personalization will actually help us with information dimming, as well as the people who are information junkie's do not put too much information on the desktop. .
i was over in switzerland last week. it was like being on another planet. i came in on a train. everything was not in english but we had to take a bus ticket to the hotel. it was easy, it was no problem. i would not trying to take a bus here in washington trying to figure out where the stops are but it was very obvious and very easy. everyone was walking. there was hardly any cars.
the whole thing makes me feel like i was under the planet. there was a point at which we needed to cross a busy intersection and we could not figure out how to do the crosswalk. they had an underground passageway and it was too big. there were many things going on. . i did not see anyone who was overweight. they were all exercising and walking. i felt a large while i was over there. all ages were walking. there was clearly multi
generations and not for many cars. from a transportation perspective, i was very impressed. why can't we accomplished something like this in the u.s.. is it possible to have that? is it a transportation utopia that will not happen in the united states? do we have a relationship that is different with our cars and the way we move? >> they are different cultures and we have seen this on a number of international stance. we really wanted to see how they do things for their elderly population. at the same time, we have done international scams floor
bicycles. we have looked at what is being done. how can we look at those here? getting to the older and use the -- what we found is that it is a different culture in japan. they don't have the older road use they just do things differently. australia is a bit differently. -- different. this is a different culture. they do what more. in this country we're learning that we have an environment where this is not just the car
but all roadway users. we can learn as well with a high price of gas and being able to be in the environment that is suitable for all modes. you can get around safely and effectively. that is something that we are still working on. we are working with our foreign partners to do this even better. >> this reflexive a choice in life style. they have had a tradition and patterns of development that are sometimes quaint and sometimes preserving a quality of life.
the american culture is not built around the car but build about space. it has only been in the last 20 years that we have looked at city and the urban life as something more desirable. it has taken us 60 or 70 years to take on the urban form. transit alternatives don't exist. going for a not on the town would be 82-mile walk -- going for a night on the town would be a 2 mile walk. not exactly exciting. how do we want to we envision the creativity and excitement as we age?
transportation is a competitive sport in places like switzerland. one of the challenges that we have. if i could leave anything with the panel, we need a sense of urgency. the mobility, i can't give it with a footnote. ladies and gentlemen, we have been aging fast and i am worried that i will be stuck with going to cvs on a friday night. >> if you need to pick up your
prescription, this might not be a bad place to go. >> we really appreciate your expertise and inside. we think all the parties for their excellent questions. thank you for your good questions. we will convene at 9:00 for the rest of the panel. we stand adjourned. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> leaders of president obama's
bipartisan that commission are proposing to change the cost of living increases and set a target for curbing the growth of medicare. also looking at eliminating popular tax breaks. now, at a news conference with house minority leader john boehner. if hon >> i just got an update about the transition efforts.
we need to fix the congress said that we can focus on the american parties. we want to create jobs in america. we want to get the economy going again and to repeal the health care law that gets in the way of job creation you can see that we have a lot of work to do. i appreciate gregg and his hard work. >> i think we got off to a good start.
as many of you know, we had a couple of meetings. we had a couple the presentations about the issues and how we can make this more open and accessible to the public. that is a statement that i'm giving out to everyone on the transition team. have you approve the efficiencies? how do we fix -- how do we did this thing is a reform when you are in charge? and we are also putting a lot of ideas out there. having been a small-business owner for 20 years, and ask all of my people to work with, how
talk about how we can reduce spending. i think that it is important that we reduce spending to pre bailout levels. >> [inaudible] >> i believe strongly and if you look at the pledge to america, we say that there should be a freeze on the hiring of new federal employees and we should also freeze the pay. it has gone to a point where the average federal worker makes twice as much as the average private-sector worker. >> going into the meeting with the president, are you willing to compromise to get something done and taking those to the highest tax brackets? >> i've always said this about 500 times, i think extending all of the current tax rates and making them permanent or reduce
the uncertainty and american and help small businesses began to create jobs again. he cannot invest when you don't know what the rules are, when you don't know what the tax rates will be. that is why making these permit will be the most important things we can do. >> [inaudible] >> i have talked about the security that is installed in my new role but over the last 20 years, i have flown back and forth to my district on commercial airlines. >> can you tell us about your
commitment and that we can judge that in a year? >> i gave a speech at the american enterprise institute where i'd laid out exactly how i intend to run the house. it needs to be more open, more transparent, more accountable. you can see that i say what i mean and i mean what i say. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> now a discussion on american companies that eliminate jobs in the u.s. and then open business divisions oversees the cheaper workers. there is a new database tracking these companies. "washington journal" continues. host: thea lee joins us, deputy
chief of staff for the afl-cio. thank you for coming in. i want to hear about your, that came out -- your comments about outsourcing. what yourreatt concern? the cut as the u.s. economy is struggling, one of the problems is we are importing too many of the goods we consume in the united states and if we don't learn how to produce more things and compete more successfully in the global economy, we are afraid we will continue to borrow from the rest of the world to fund consumption. in order for the united states to be a strong country we have to figure out how to do a better job supporting manufacturers here in the united states and the worker to produce those goods. i think that is a key challenge the united states faces. host: this has been a concern for a long time for the afl-o. where are things going right now? guest: the whole world has been
through this horrible economic downturn, and the crash of the financial markets. one of the things we see when we look at the united states of america is that for too long, too many decades, i think, we had growth based on people working harder, longer hours, less money, and borrowing to support their lifestyle. and that is one of the things that led to the financial cra. if we can't figure out how to get people better jobs, then we are going to continue to see the recovery weekend by too much importing and outsourcin u.s. companies have a strategy of taking the production offshore, taking advantage of workers in other countries that don't have basic human-rights, democracy, protections at the workplace. not good for those workers and certainly not for american workers. we have to figure out how to get a better balance. host: our guest, thea lee, afl- cio deputy chief of staff.
you can join the conversation -- you can, of course, e-mail us. what do you think should be done it to solve this problem? is it the federal government, companies making pledges out o a moral obligation? guest: combination of all of those things. that is what is important. it is not one thing, one magic bullet, because this is a complex wor and there is a lot of competition. on the one hand we have trade policies to encourage companies to stay in the united states and we need a tax policy to do the same. and our macro policy, how we can make sure we are not overpricing our goods in the global market. and in other countries take steps to manipulate their currencies, that we are reacting and enforcing the trade laws. also at home at think it is
important that we need to invest more than we have in infrastructure, education, skills. and we need to figure out how to build up our production capacity and assumed we are going to be a strong producing nation in the global economy. host: how you track this or measure of outsourcing? guest: matt is a tough question and i think a lot of people assume the government -- that is a tough question and i think a lot of people assume the government tracks those numbers. there is no single data source. we can look at a couple of things. we can look at the trade deficit, the excess of imports over exports. we are running trade deficits on the order of $500 billion to $600 billion every year. millions of jobs that we could be creating here in the united states if we produce more of those goods here, either through exporting more or importing less or some combination. the other thing is we look at the workers who apply for trade adjustment. the other thing we look at its
corporate strategy, where companies tell us all the time, this is their job, this is their strategy, this is their plan, is to outsource more and more jobs. not just low level production jobs, but also very high level, highly skilled jobs -- computer software engineering, medical jobs, legal jobs. there are very high skill jobs being outsourced and we see it from the corporate strategy. host: the afl-cio has a job tractor, and you can input your zip code and find out about companies movinjobs overseas. tell us about how it works? guest: it is a tool we put together because we know folks are interested in this and concerned about it. it is helping people figure out in their own community what is going on. we put together a bunch of different data sources. one is news clips, the other is trade adjustment assistance,
mass layoffs and we also included other kindsf egregious violations that companies do, health of violations, so people have more information about what is happening in their own community and hopefully they can make good use of that information. host: richard joins us on the democrats' line in california. good morning. caller: good morning, c-span. my name is richard and i live out here in california and i have been out of work for two am an x-ray technician. was a carpenter for 25 years. the problem is i have been watching c-span -- by the way, thank you for my first time, i am a little bit nervous. what i have seen is our economies since ronald reagan, 1982, and his adviser, don regan, started shipping factories out. that was the beginning of the shipping of factories overseas to china, india, indonesia,
malaysia, mexico, central america. that equals out to 87,000 to 90,000 factories shipped overseas. those are manufacturing jobs, heavy manufacturing jobs. when you lose 87,000 to 90,000 factories, you have no manufacturing base. therefore, when you do not make a product, you have no country. somewhere along the line, our country got off the tracks and thought that we could sustain ourselves on service-sector jobs guest: thank you, richard. you raise a lot of points and i am sorry to hear that you personally are out of work. you're absolutely right that this is a trend that has been in place for a long time. course it is possible for an individual company to move overseas, but one of the things we are trying to figure out is what are the policies we need to
put in place at the federal level to ensure that companies can be more profitable here in the united states and that we do not create inadvertently incentives to offer jobs. that is really what our tax code does. companies get a tax break if they move your job overseas, and they have to pay the full taxes if they create the jobs at home. that does not make any sense. that is backwards. the other thing we should be doing more effectively is use our own government procurement policies. when taxpayers buy products -- and we buy a lot of things, whether for the military or schools -- we should, to the extent we are able to do so, buy american-made product. we should figure out how to do that so that we know we are supporting our own communities with our tax dollars. host: let's go to tracy in florida. caller: good morning. i'm glad you just said that.
it is all well and good to ble congress and the president for the tax code, but the situation is, how many americans are not buying american products? i cannot help but wonder why we do not reward the companies to produce here in the united states more. if every american pulled together like we do with -- buying more american products and rewarding the companies to produce here, would we be better off? guest: yes, i think we would. people should be conscious of the purchase, particularly like a car or a home and come and think of the difference it might make. when you buy a product that is made in the united states of america, you are paying the people who pay taxes to pave the ads and support the schools and so on. we should be paying attention, and i think that is all we are asking.
host: where resources do you recommend people go to if they are trying to buy things in the u.s.? so often there are stories of people trying to buy american, and they go to retail stores and so many things are made overseas and it is just so cheap. guest: the afl-cio website shows companies were workers are being paid well and treated well and so forth. some web sites specialize in certain goods that are made in america. complicated now appears it is not always that easy to find at the intermission. one of the other things we are trying to do is make sure that our labeling public -- to find that information. when you go to the sre and buy packaged goods, you cannot tell where those goods are made. so we are trying to raise the amount of information that is
available for consumers. host: are there some manufacturing jobs best left overseas because of the cheap ability to make them elsewhere? you mentioned large-scale items like cars versus some of the smaller items -- alarm clocks, telephones. is you anything that you agree with should be made overseas? guest: we live in a global economy and we cannot turn back the clock and we would not want to. but what is disturbing about the trade trend in the united states is that a loof the goods that are being in boarded are the high-tech produc. being imported are the high-tech products. that is more disturbing. it is not so much that big labour intensive products are being produced offshore, but we are producing offshore things that we have a technological edge in. we have -- we ought to have the comparative advantage in the high-tech products d the high
skill products that are made. those are the kinds of goods we should be bringi back home. host: let's go to stephanie, calling us from pennsylvania. caller: a couple of things that happened in the last administration that i would like to remind people about. remember time and a half was taken away from most people except for union workers, and people did not understand why the jobs are not coming back. it is because people are being forced to work for lower wages. another thing is that the bush administration got the fast-food industry relabeled as manufacturing, so when they say there is still a lot of manufacturing, it is because of the fast-food industry. a caller a couple of weeks ago said that in your archives there is a film of reagan saying all manufacturing is going to be overseas in the future, and i
think the afl-cio ought to get that thing and play it over and over because that is when it started. guest: thank you so much, stephanie, for your call. a lot of the decisions we make at home do have an impact on the decisions to outsource. one of the things we're trying to do is saif we are going to be part of the global economy, we need to harmonize upward our labor and environmental standards. so that we do not create a disadvantage for ourselves. we want workers in other countries to have protections of the job. we do not want child labor in other countries any more than we want child labor at home. you're absolutely right. ronald reagan and many precedents in the last couple of decades have put in place policies that assume that all manufacturing will go overseas. i think that is wrong, defeatist, and fatalistic. and i think it was o of george w. bush's top economic advisers
who said that outsourcing is a natural part of globalization, t something we should be worried about. we do worry about it because we worry about the jobs and we need to figure out how to create jobs for american workers who can not outsource themselves. host: william cohen had an op-ed piece in "the wall street journal" in which he made the some jobs goat overseas but there are jobs created here. parent companies hire even more companies -- parent companies hire more workers in the u.s. to expand operations. they're filled by scientists, engineers, marketing professionals, i and others to meet the demand creed by their foreign subsidiaries. let's look at some comments that he made when he was here on "washington journal" last month.
>> what the statistics show is that when the companies start to slim their operations overseas, they create more jobs at home. a study was done by a professor at dartmouth, the business school at dartmouth, pointing out that it is almost a two to one ratio that jobs have been created. there is between 1987 and 2001. nonetheless, we have to work -- we have to look at what these companies do in terms of making their domestic operations more efficient, to generate more profits so that the profits can be ud to keep the level playing force that they have, or hopefully in this case actually increase it. host: former defense secretary william cohen making the case that outsourcing can be good for american jobs. what dyou think?
guest: i think secretary cohen is a little bit optimistic and not even about what is happening. he is talking about the dartmouth study by mass slaughter, and it shows that multinational corporations are big -- by matt slaughter, it shows that multinational corporations are big companies that shows that they're growing generally. but it does n count when multinational corporations put jobs overseas, and they are sometimes not part of the same company. it is often an affiliate and they are subcontracting. walmart is buying tons and tons of products overseas, and that is not counted in the kinds of figures that secretary cohen was talking about. so i think it's a little misleading. if you look at the big picture, the growing trade deficit that we have come up this year alone since la year is up 42%. it's definitely cutting into our ability to grow. the other thingouook at is the stagnation of wesn the
united states. workers are working harder and they are not making the progress they need to. one of the reasons is that the global economy has put increasing downward pressure on wages. it is giving corporations the upper hand. when they go to the bargaining table, they have a lot of clout to say if you do not take a pay cut or cut your pension, we will ship your job overseas. host: thea lee is theeputy chief of staffor afl-cio. she is the co-author of a field guide to t global economy. let's go to california where chad joins us on the republican line. caller: how are you? i was just curious that, how can we compete through the global economy when the wages in the u.s. cannot compete with the foreign wages that we pay.
it is trumped up by the union is demanding higher wages, and there is no way that america can't compete because of the union wages that you demand through the taxpayer-funded coalition that the afl-cio creates? gut: thank you, chat. it is a good question, as a matter of fact. our high wages are a real obstacle -- there is the argument that high wages are a real obstacle, and i would argue thathey are n we have to account for a whole set of things. if we for argue it -- if we follow your argument to the logical conclusion, we sa that the united states cannot compete until we get our wages down to bangladesh or other countries. if you look at other countries like germany or the nordic
countries, they have successful trade profiles. they are successful exporters with much higher wages and a stronger union. so a union does no have to be an obstacle because when it creates more jobs security and productivity, better conditions, or security for everybody, it can make it work is more efficient, more technologically innovative because the workers are part of the team. that is the kind of manufacturing that we are looking at, not the cheapest one. if we win that race of winning the cheapest rates in the world, we have lo. host: one of your rights, "this is a subject near and dear to my heart. we need to make the connection that when we buy the less expensive imported product, we may be putting an american citizen out ofork. i would ratherave had jobs and more things. this also raises the question,
is the american worker too costly or is the cost of living too high?" guest: i think that the balance between jobs and things is important because every worker is a consumer, every consumer is a worker. so we have to find a balance between what is good for consumers and getting the cheapest possible goods no matter what, versus making sure that we are also supporting good jobs in our community. we need to do both things, walk and chew gum at the same time and do both of those. , at: let's hear from steve democrat in ohio. caller: good morning, ms. lee i'm an old timer, 62. i want to get this out. in my lifetime of employment, i have always had more employment opportunities under a republican than i have a democrat. i might be e.w., i may be e.w.,
teamsters, i have been there and done it all. do you know where my benefs come from now? not social security, not a union. the only support that i get is the fact that i am a veteran, at the v.a. hospital. the union for the past 30 years has not been doing the work of the people, but it has been involved in playing the power game of politics. yohave been stealing money from us and giving it to politicians trying to buy your way in, and you have literally destroyed more jobs in this country for the past 30 years than the government or any political party ever has. host: we will leave it there and get a response from ms. lee. guest: i am sorry to hear that that is your view, but i think the unions have been struggling to do the best job we can. over time there has been an erosion of living standards, so
we also feel like this challenge is one that we need to do something different and better, but it's hard to find that balance betwn trying to elect people who will put in place worker-friendly policies, trying take care of workers at the workplace, to make sure that the standards are protected. host: how do you keep unions relevant and modern? how do you attract new workers, a younger generation, and keep it relevant? guest: o of the things we are trying to do is figure out h to talk to workers in new sectors. taxi drivers, restaurant workers, or hotel maids -- a figure out the sectors where unions have not been traditionally strong, we ed to reach out to people, whether they are young people, women, immigrants, and so on. we are also trying to figure out new ways of organizing because
as the workplace changes, you do not have the old-fashioned lines of people ling up the gate where -- winding up at the gate where it can hand them a leaflet. working america is one way that we reach out to folks in their homes, knocking on doors, tryg to figure out of people are interested in talking with us about the policy issues we have raised. host: zachary, an independent from florida, good morning. caller: ms. lee seems to be nailing the point of view for the middle class. it is so hard for us. we are struggling, and it seems like they're just trying to keep the rich richer and the poor poorer. so many js in the country, like -- i do not know, if we could just do more for the youth, that is where it is at.
the biggest problems with the jobs is, like with new jersey up north, the alien situation with illegals -- you cannot get a job. i am working hand in hand in a ditch and i cannot go to a hospital and get medicaid. it is all about kids going to school and not about the huge loans. it is abo the youth and technology really. guest: i think you're exactly right. the struggle for the united states is how do we build and strengthen the middle-class tax because that is what makes this country a wonderful place to live. so many of the problems the last couple of decades have polarized institutions. the peop at the top, the co's and the hedge fund managers, are
doing great. they have so much money, they do not know what to do with it. there are only so many gold- plated faucets you can buy for your bathroom. ordinary working people need to have jobs, so i think that is one of t tensions that we have, ying to figure out how to make every job a good job. every job should have union protection. if a worker wants a union, they should be able to join a union without interference from the government or management. there should not be children in the workplace and people should not have over time without getting paid for it. those are the principles that we need to put back into place to rebuild our middle class host: we are watching the president travel in asia right now. a 10-day trip. asia, so many countries there are huge trade partners, and a place whereso
many jobs are headed. guest: i think the president needs to lay down a new marker that things are going to be different. we could trade on a different basis, on a me attuned basis, more attuned to the impact of american jobs. what is actually in each trade agreement? all those pieces are important. so we want to make sure that president obama is not putting in place more of the same old trade policies, but that he is turning a corner for the 21st century. i know he is interested in that. i know he wants to increase exports from the united states, but he also needs to figure out how to stop the unfair imports from coming in. host: there was a vote in the senate over the creating jobs and creating of shoring act. what would you like to see the white house do?
guest: there is onpiece of legislation on currency manipulation. we have a huge trade deficit with china, $250 billion every year. one of the problems is that the chinese government has been in manipulating its currency. so the house of representatives has already passed a bill by more than 300 votes, pretty overwhelmingly in the last congress we would like to see the senate take up that bill on the currency manipulation situation. the other pieces i think are ending the tax breaks for off shoring. it is very popular, but somehow members of congress find it hard to vote for. i would say maybehey are getting too many donations from multinational corporations. host: let's get a call from a republican in maryland. caller: the biggest problem i
see is the agreed that we have here in the united states. -- is the greed that we have in the united states. everybody wants to lower costs, and everyone by the once- everybody wants 12 pairs of jeans and a closet. the afl-cio should be teaching people to be loyal to the country, not be entitled to. guest: thank you, paul. i think greed is maybe a part of human nature, but can we harness it anyway -- it's natural for companies to make money, but they need to do so within the structure of the rules and policies that the government puts in place. that is the government's job, to balance out these different needs. you might want to make more money by slitting your workers, butou cannot do that. -- by enslaving your workers,
but you cannot do that. you are right, i think americans need to think about how their actions impact the country. as we outsource and import everything, or more and more of the goods that we consume, we are weakening our country, bar wing from abroad, and we all need to come together and tnk about how we can collectively and -- clerk of the strengthened and reinforced the middle class. host: in this outsourcing report that the afl-cio put together, you look at the top 2 products with the largest import penetration rate. break down what that means for us. guest: the import penetration rate is the percentage of the goods that we import. that has been growing pretty rapidly over the years in some important key sectors. so we are looking at the defense between 1997 and 2007.
host: some of the biggest leaps are and household furnishings, also elected computers, looking a radio and tv broadcasting wireless equipment, relays and industrial controls. talk to us about these findings. guest: if you look at those sectors, there is cause for alarm, that each one of those sectors are connected to other places in the economy. if you import a computer, all the pieces that go into the computer tend to be imported. same thing with an automobile or household furnishings. if you drive to a lot of parts of this country, whether in the midwest or in the sou, you will see whole factories that have been decimated by this. but each one of them represents a closed factory, maybe tens of thousands of lost jobs. i think it should be concerning. so when people say globalization is a natural part of life and we
should not worry about it and companies are making money so everything is fine, i do not think that is the right approach. we should be more alarmed and more active in trying to figure out what would it take to bring some of these jobs back or prevent some of the ones that are still here from leaving. michelle,s hear from a democrat a caller from mississippi. caller: i would like to know why our government is not increasing the tariffs and the taxes so that my job as a telecommunications is now in india and overseas. when i make a call now, i have a foreigner in answering my call that was here in my state. it started with world come in my state. after my life savings was stolen by the ceo and cfo of my company. guest: that is a terrible story
and i am sorry to hear it. your story is one that aot of people have experienced, and it is one of the reasons why we have politicians talk about trade or outsourcing, most people have a negative reaction. we do not use tariffs that often to protect our market, and we keep citing more trade agreements, whether it is with the world trade organization, or not we keep signing more trade agreements, whether aid is with the world -- we keep citing re trade agreements, whether it is with the world trade organization or othe. that is one of the fights that the afl-cio has been involved with, trying to say let's think twice before we signhese trade agreements because we might want some flexibility to use tariffs in emergency situations when there is a big surgef imports, when there are a lot of jobs at stake or when another country is egregiously violating
standards. we need to have more flexibility to use tariffs in situations like that, and we have been signing away that situation for years with the trade agreements we have put in place. host: market is in kansas. good morning. caller: people always talk about how we need to create jobs, but i think we need to focus more on creating job creators. i do not understand how if a factory closes and it automatically goes overseas because there's nobody to open a factory backed up, how do we teach people in our colleges and out in the world or whatever, how do we get them to -- how do we train people to create jobs? how do we teach our young people, the next generation of ceo's and factory higher-ups'?
guest: i think it goes to the mindset or the attitude both of policymakers and of corporate leaders, where they have been trained for many years that the way to make money is to move your production overseas. we need to retrain them to appreciating what is good about producing in the united states. you have more certainty, a better work force, you're clor to your market, a big huge consumer market of 330 million people. i was talking to a business person the other day you has what he is calling a reshoring initiative. he is trying to do that, to provide information to companies who have contemplated where to put production or are thinking of off shoring. when they calculate their costs, they're making a mistakbecause they do not count all the costs of quality control, travel back and forth for the managers, the sk of currency appreciation, or some other change.
you do not have those risks when you are producing in the united states. not only do we need to create a different mindset for the corporations, but we also need to make sure that we are investing in the skills of our work force so we have no question whatsoever. we have a terrific work force in the united states, but as an industrialized nation, we need to constantly invest in improving and enhancing those skills so we have the best workers in the world. int: let's hear from robert clifton, tennessee, on the republican line. caller: i was wondering, we have heard a lot of talk about the government's role in the lost jobs and what the corporations' role in lost jobs overseas is. what is the union's role in that? you do have some liability in that area as far as helping us lose these jobs. host: how are you seeing that
play out? in what way are you thinking that is happening? caller: the company that i previously worked for, 12 or 14 years ago, something like that -- they came to us and said the jobs are going to china. so we asked, how do we stop that? and the solution was to vote out our union and they would keep the budget in place that paid us and paid the benefits for the union, they would keep that budget intact. and once we got rid of the union we would take that money and spread it amongst the employees. we would all get a raise and keep the factory there in our home town. guest: did it rk? caller: yes, it worked. it is still there and it is still going strong. guest: that is one tactic, and
i'm glad it worked for you. unions are there to protect the wages and the conditions of our members. we try to work with unions and workers in other countries because our basic belief is that every worker in the world should have decent working conditions. they need to be able to bargain for our fair share. we fight hard to protect the rights of workers everywhere. we do not think companies ought to be able to play workers against each other, to threaten workers with offshore in or downsizing if they do not take deep cuts or they do not take unsafe working conditions or longer hours. we want good working conditions for american workers, but we want good working conditions for workers all over the world. we think that is a basic human right.
>> tomorrow, we will have live veteran's day coverage from arlington cemetery. there will be a wreath-laying ceremony that starting at 11:00 a.m. eastern. the criminal investigation command launched an investigation into the management of arlington national cemetery. we spoke to a reporter for an update. >> what happened at the cemetery since the inspector general's report and the hearings? >> those that were a responsible were put on leave and reprimanded. they have retired and retired with full benefits. in the interim, the secretary of
the army created a new position which is the executive director of the army's cemetery program which is being run by a person named catherine -- under her is the acting superintendent. he had a large role with the department of veterans affairs message. >> you wrote about a criminal investigation that is launched by the army. you noted questionable practices. what are they looking into? >> we ask that of the criminal investigation command. they would only mention that they have opened a new investigation and this was brought to their investigation
-- their attention by miss condit. add to this point, that is all that we know but we know that there has been another criminal investigation at the cemetery and then but none have resulted in any charges. >> that hearings were held in the aftermath of the inspector general's report. what does congress want to do? there is legislation out to their by senators mccaskill and brown. what do they want to do? >> there was a discussion on who should run arlington, whether it is the department of the army or the department of veterans affairs which runs more than 100 cemeteries.
this is not account for any kind of grave site. there are more than 300,000. >> the number was up to 6600 that could be misidentified. is there any more clarity? >> no, that is what senator mccaskill's staff came up with and that is an extrapolation based on what they found in three sections of the cemetery and they applied that formula for out the cemetery. that is not really a from number. the problems are more widespread than we have known. >> there are computer issues, contracting, things done on paper, records.
>> that is something that they wanted to remedy. this relies on an antiquated record keeping system. one of the charges is to digitize those records. they're working to do that. this is no small task given the tens of thousands of paper records. at one point, they brought together a consortium. some of these firms and the private practice, this could help arlington digitize their records and i believe that they are ongoing. >> this claims a couple of
my colleague, it is an honor and privilege to have you all with us. thank you for being part of this and then to break ground for the disabled for life memorial. this'll be the first national tv to the service and sacrifice of americans for disabled veterans and admiring the accomplishments. they are the reason we are so dedicated to creating a memorial. this year, a commemorative coin was produced to help fund the memorial. today there are more than 3 million disabled veterans. many thousands of service members have been wounded or otherwise disabled in afghanistan, iraq, in the war on afghanistaterrorism.
the values of duty, honor, and country. they carried the torch of freedom high when they were called upon to do so. many of them paid a high price for this service in our nation's defense. those disabilities are part of the continuing cost of war. that is why it is so important that the memorial become a reality. we need a reminder to future generations to the service and sacrifice that these young men and women made for our nation and the ideas of freedom and democracy. let's get things started this morning with an invitation by chaplain cross.
in a spirit of reflection, a thanksgiving, and some sense of joy. we celebrate our brave men and women who are here for the freedom of our nation. we are allowed the opportunity to return home to their country. we ask for your continued lessons on those who served on this very special occasion as the break ground for the veteran -- disabled veterans for live memorial. this memorial will forever remind us of the suffering of the service and sacrifice of those to return this still continue the words.
this is a source of inspiration and encouragement for all to experience. we recognize that it is made possible through the contribution. we also authored banks. we ask a blessings for all in attendance today. >> thank you for those very inspiring words of prayer. let me introduce someone who is truly an interim -- inspiration into what this memorial means. nancy pelosi is in his second
term in the house of representatives, and having made history in 2007. she made history in november 2002 when house democrats elected heard the first woman to lead a major political parties. she brings more than 23 years of experience in the house, representing the city of san francisco since 1987. before being elected, she served as house democratic whip for one year. she comes from a strong family tradition of public service. her late father served as a
baltimore after representing the city for five terms in congress. her brother also served as mayor of baltimore. please welcome into pelosi. [applause] >> good morning. what a beautiful morning it is. we can have the perfect day to take an action and it is appropriate for us to do. i want to think any. we take great proud in each other's work. i think him for his general introduction.
winning the bronze star for valor -- we are all very proud of you. it is appropriate that you are at our presentation today. he is a decorated soldier in his own right in firmly committed to the well-being of all veterans. thank you. i first met him in bosnia. we went to visit him there to see his leadership. it forces protection. that has always been for the security of the american people. i need your knowledge -- i need
of knowledge so many people who were responsible for protecting american people. chairman of the board. all of the leaders of the disabled veterans foundation. for your dedication to this cause entered determination to do right by our wounded soldiers. we think gary sinise serving the national spokesperson and not been there for our veterans. very generously, the secretary reference my family and for my brothers. my father bought the baltimore orioles to a maryland. they had to build a stadium.
it is clear it to the baltimore stadium in honor of the service of our veterans. it said time and not dim and the glory of their deeds they do every memorial to our veterans shares that thought. i want to of knowledge of the soon-to-be chairman. -- i want to acknowledge the soon-to-be chairman and those who made the legislation possible. john mccain, bipartisan all the way.
this is such a high priority for him. there is no question that the funding for this memorial was happening. i want to of the knowledge of their strong leadership. -- knowledge -- acknowledge all of their strong leadership. we need to remember the true cost of war and conflict to our troops and their families. we paid to the to the sacrifice of those who served in came home changed forever but not their spirit. they gave part of their lives abroad so we can do this.
we need to be there for them and make sure everyone remembers the sacrifice. president kennedy was elected two days ago 50 years ago. he said we will pay any price. you know the rest. many of you have paid more of a price than the rest of us. we need to the knowledge that in every way. veryecretary said i'm proud of some of the work that was done in congress for our veterans. i want to make the additional point that when we did the new gi bill and increased the reliable funding -- these
were priorities that the veterans brought to us. there are so many neat for their -- needs. what are the priorities? those were our marching orders. i thank my colleagues for their leadership. i think the veterans community for making all of that possible under the leadership of president obama. together all of these accomplishments are bigger than anything since their original g.i. bill in 1944.
we need the parties to go forward. in the name of all veterans, we break ground today to ensure that time does not in the glory of their deed. they hold it in the highest esteem. there is not a day the wind by my father did not reach a day that went by my -- there was not a day the web by that my father did not think about his brother. the tributes to those who lost their lives continues. today we take a very specific
step in recognizing those who were disabled and to still continue to contribute to this strength of america in so many ways. as we approach veterans day, we reaffirmed our commitment to the patriotism and service of all men and women in uniform whether they are in the saddle or wherever. because if you, we are the land of the free in the home of the brave. we are taking a critical step forward and the filling our pledge. this is our troops leave no one behind on the battlefield, when they come home, we leave no veteran behind. thank you to all of you who are working to make this memorial a reality. god bless our veterans. god has truly blessed america with our veterans.
his body. he can overcome the mental challenges he faces the death. he received a master's of education degree predel. taught high school and had careers as a juvenile probation counselor and the director edit family support center in texas beg. bobby has received many awards and honors including the disabled veteran of the year bill. his humility has taxed the lives of them.
>> thank you so much. good morning to everyone. this is truly a remarkable day. we are here to mark a major milestone in the quest it created the first national memorial honoring the service and the sacrifice of our nation's disabled veteran special. i want to thank each one of the for being with us here this morning. the memorial will rise from the ground that we break today and will make a very powerful .tatement upon th
[inaudible] last year we participated in a flyover and the indy 500 race as bombers flew over the race ceremonies. on the two days before the race, of orientation flights were provided to certain vips. the most important were returning troops who led been injured in iraq and afghanistan. one of the men had been paralyzed from the waist down. his father pushed the young man in his wheelchair.
to enter the bomber, one has to climb up a stepladder under the belly of the aircraft. i had already flown in it. i knew what a challenge it would be for this young man to enter the aircraft. i can thinking, how is he going to enter this aircraft? when it does time for his plight, the father rolled a wheelchair under the aircraft. he walked around, knelt in front of the wheelchair. the son leaned forward wrap his arms around his father's neck and shoulders and lean forward as much as he could. with his son on his back, the father climbed up the ladder and the aircraft. that moment to playback 40
years when i began my journey as a disabled veteran. at that time, i was carried. when i thought i could not take another step, when i thought that everything was so dark, when i thought i did not have the future, when i thought i cannot continue, i was carried. i share the story? what we are doing today, breaking ground for this memorial, is a direct reflection of all disabled veterans and their attorneys that began -- their journeys that began when they enter the call to duty. the journeys continue their out there honorable service through the trauma of his injuries. it continues today through their recovery and their renewal of
purpose. what the father did demonstrated that he would never abandon his son. this memorial clearly demonstrates that the american people will never abandon our nation's disabled veterans. [applause] within full view of the capital, the memorial will be a poignant reminder that our nation has a duty, those lead given so much of themselves.
all who served share the horror, brutality, and hardships of defending our nation, especially in wartime. the memorial is intended to bring a greater awareness of what disabled veterans have already sacrificed for as. more than that, and the american veterans disabled for like memorial is a tribute to what they can accomplish. they know the challenges of rebuilding and resuming productive lives. they have excelled in life. those of you who are in the audience are the fine examples
of what i am sharing with you. it will educate the public and remind the nation about ito issues concerning disabled veterans. throughout our history, we have erected monuments to our heroes. this traditional display of admiration have come up short stock in honoring america's disabled veterans to continue to bear the deepest wounds and the scars of war long after the
guns have fallen silent. by honoring these men and women, this memorial will be a declaration that america is veterans, a declaration that in nerco will never forgive their service and their continued sacrifice for their. it will become one of our nation's most treasured landmarks. we are making the stream in reality. i take great pride in all our veterans. from our hearts, we say thank you, america. [applause]
>> what a wonderful moving reflection of what this memorial means. >> to treat the disabled veterans live a moral foundation. it is her fondest wish to honor the of disabled veterans who served in the war in iraq and afghanistan as a low of all of those throughout our history the memorial is scheduled to be
completed and dedicated in 2012. one of america's leading philanthropists have provided awards for medical research, scholarships, summer camp programs, and humanitarian relief, and animal welfare. it is my great pleasure to introduce the heart and soul behind the american veterans disabled for life memorial. a lady of of a common vision and dedication, mrs. lois pope. [applause]
>> good morning. it is great to be here. as it has been done for decades, our nation will pay tribute to marron november 11 to marron november 11 to our veterans for the sacrifices they have laid for our people and our way of life. today in the shadow of the united states capitol, we break ground on the memorial that will honor the 3 million living disabled veterans in the millions who have died and tragically all those that will become because the war on terrorism. the hundreds of disabled veterans who are with us this morning represent all of their others and sisters. they are soldiers of every race,
creed, color. they have been severely injured while defending our freedom. far too often they have been neglected, suffering long after the battle has been one and the guns have grown silent. this is a small part of repaying of what we owed them. , a veteran's liberated victims of nazi oppression and freed a continent from the yoke of tierney. in the 1950's, they were our warriors on the battlefield and korea. in the '60s and '70s, they bought in the marshlands and
jungles of vietnam. they serve their nations in the hot spots around the world. today there defending is on the global war on terrorism. since the beginning of this conflict, tens of thousands of men and women have been wounded in action. some or minor wounds. far too many of these brave men and women will carry their stars in disabilities for life. we owe them so much. we can never thank them enough. the memorial will go a long way to showing our admiration, respect and gratitude. our journey began in 1998 when i
met with the jesse brown. the secretary of veterans affairs and with art wilson, ceo of the disabled american veterans. together we form the disabled veterans like memorial foundation and began our 12 year effort to build this permanent public tribute to these unsung heroes. my personal commitment began a decade before. i was a singer back then and was performing for a group of vietnam era soldiers at the institute in new york. seeing them there, and realizing
how much they had given to the country, was one i made a promise that if ever i had a financial means, i would do all in my power to honor their service in a more meaningful way. fast-forward to 1995 he told me that no such moral existed. i said there has to be one for the he said there is the washington, it jumpers 0, lincoln, but none for disabled veterans. that is the moment when i realized what my life's purpose would be, to build a memorial to you.
introduce gary sinise. >> thank you. thank you very much. what a day. good morning. they ask me to try to explain why i have been involved. i will attempt to do that for those of you that might not know. president john adams once said you never know how much it cost my generation to preserve your free them, i hope you'll make good use of it. since the beginning of our great democracy, the young people we have sent off to war had paid an enormous price so that mean they live in freedom. so many have paid with their lives and part of their bodies and in some cases their minds upon the. of the 26 million veterans
today, 3 million are permanently disabled from injuries suffered in our nation's defense. many of these three heroes have not been treated as they should. many have been marginalized or forgotten altogether. coming from a family where a number of relatives have warned the various uniforms of our services, i have learned about the tragedies and triumphs of war. my grandfather served in the army in world war roman one driving in angeles in the front lines in france. my two uncles surgeon of world war ii. they survive 30 missions over year. my father served in the navy in the 1950's. my wife's two brothers both served in the army and fought in vietnam. one was a helicopter pilot. the other an infantry officer who graduated from west point, served two tours in vietnam and
went on to become a lieutenant- colonel. a born leader, he rewrote the leadership manual for the united states army before he passed away from cancer at age 39. i have spent a lot of time talking in learning about the vietnam war from him. my wife's sister was in the army for 10 years and retired as a captain. when it you just returned from afghanistan would be 82nd airborne. i did not serve myself. i'm especially proud of my family members who have. in the early 1980's, i directed a play in chicago that was written by a group of vietnam veterans and was based on their experiences during that war. the time spent with these veterans of all along with my wife's two brothers and another brother-in-law who was a medic in vietnam left a lasting impression on me.
i commit in my time to veterans ever since. in 1993, i had the distinct honor of portraying a disabled vietnam veteran on screen. having spent some time of veterans, i felt i was well prepared and eager to py the part of lt. dan. such moments are rare for an actor. hoehling this rule change to me and educated me about the strange thing character of our disabled veterans. the story is a hopeful and positive story of triumph over adversity. he was driven by his desire to serve and devote his life in service to this country. when he severely injured and his dream of becoming a great officer is alter, he goes through understandable pain and anger. he eventually learns to live
with his disability. in the end, he finds peace. the final image is one of great power. lt. dan is standing strong and proud. he is but his injury in perspective and has moved on. the ultimate recognition for an actor is winning an oscar. for me it was another war that holds the most cherish spot in my heart. that honor came in 1994 from the disabled american veterans which cited me at this national convention for my patrol lt. dan. it is a great moment. i cannot have been more moved. it was heart wrenching.
but it was also heartwarming. i have met many veterans with catastrophic injuries. despite their disabilities, like lieutenant dan, if they demonstrated and unclenching will not just to survive but to flourish. i was so inspired by the first introduction that from that moment on i have stayed actively involved with the dav and was bumbled and art wilson asked me to become the national spokesperson. i'm purpose to have helped raise money coming down public- service announcements. for the past five years, my band has performs dav be's national convention. [applause]
starting in 2003, after we went into afghanistan and iraq three or four times a year, i visit our wounded at the medical center. rohm & hoss on each of these bids it, i am struck by the humility of the young men and women receiving treatments, their courage and determination, their acceptance and their dedication to their country. lending a hand is one of the most rewarding things i have done in my life. for all they have done in sacrifice, they do not as much in return. knowing they are not forgotten it makes a world of difference. that is why we are here today.
to make a world of difference. war is not like what you see in the movies or on television. war is very real. while many of these veterans have adjusted to their disabilities, there'll always be a constant reminder of the hell they went through. a reminder that they and their care givers lived with each and every day. they may have been which our nation's enemies, but their lives definedy l, by physical and emotional scars, remains firm. we cannot give them back to their real arms and legs. we cannot give them back their eyes or ears are pieces of themselves that have been lost, the mines that have been altered, but we can give them and we must give them our respect and our everlasting
appreciation. being part of this memorial effort for me and my involvement is a wasting thank you to my family and friends who have served into the thousands of disabled veterans i had met during my visit this may mean not just a better actor. you may need a better man. it to be a way for all of us this memorial to say thank you to all of them to ensure that the sacrifices are always remembered. calvin coolidge once said, "a
nation which forget its defenders will itself be forgotten. that is why the american veterans disabled for life memorial is so essential. it is more than the nation's first public tribute to more than 3 million disabled living veterans and the hundreds of thousands that have died. it will show america's eternal gratitude to the men and women whose lives were forever change in service to our country. american economic and will not forfeit its defenders. it has been my pleasure to serve in this effort. thank you to all of you who have contributed to making the stream the lolas, art, and jesse had years ago into a reality. god bless you. god bless america. thank you very much. [applause]
>> we owe you an enormous debt of gratitude. it is a privilege to introduce our next speaker. he graduated from the military academy at west point. in a few weeks, he and i will what the big game in philadelphia. whoever wins the contest, they will go often served in afghanistan and iraq. secretary sinn secchi served two tours in vietnam where he was
twice wounded. he remained on active duty. he served as commanding general and commander of the nato led stabilization force in bosnia. in 19909, he was appointed chief of staff of the army and retired in 2003 after 30 years of service in uniform. on december 7, 2008, he was nominated by president obama to leave the department of veterans affairs and was confirmed by the senate on january 20, 2009 and was sworn in at c seven secretary of veterans affairs on january 21, 2009. secretary of veterans affairs and life member, eric shineski. [applause]
>> thank you for that very kind introduction and also for your past leadership. let me was all the marines a happy bird then and -- which all the marines a happy birthday. let me further acknowledge nancy pelosi. madam speaker, thank you for honoring us with your presence here today. thanks for your leadership along with president obama. you have done terminus work for veterans this year. we are indebted to you. senator bob dole i believe was trying to be here, a distinguished soldier and statesman.
it is always great to have an opportunity to share time with them as i did last rickettsias looking forward to being released from walter reed where he had undergone some surgery. ambassador from canada and other distinguished guests from canada, thank you for being here this morning. thank you for the generosity of the reception and luncheon following the ceremonies. members of the va team, thank you for what you do. i will add my thanks to low as hope -- lois pope and all the under a wonderful members for all of your work, and your devotion, your efforts for this wonderful private.
scott brown is here. his dad has been mentioned several times already, former secretary of veterans affairs jesse brown who signed the original agreement with lois and art wilson. bobby andbarrera, i always learn sending when you get up and speak. thank you to all the butter and service organizations who are represented here today. you all have contributed to making this memorial a reality. please join me in recognizing the disabled veterans who are here in the audience. there are several hundred of us. [applause]
thank you all. it bears repeating, this ceremony and this memorial are all about you, acknowledging your service, honoring your sacrifice. other distinguished guests i may have missed, i am honored to join you on breaking ground which will sure to enhance washington's landscape and the symbolism reflected in the landmarks and monuments. our deepest things go to lowest pope -- lois pope u.s. trade bill legions of supporters of across the country for this noble and were the idea. she has been the engine behind
the enormous effort to honor men and women of every generation who have given so much. for some, everything short of life itself for our democracy. thank you. george marshall, are great soldier statesman, once described the value of america's defenders. it is impossible for the nation to compensate for the services of a fighting man or today fighting lawmen. there is no pay scale that is high enough to bring the service of a single one of them, to buy the services of a single one of them during even a few minutes of agony of combat, the fiscal mysteries of the campaign, or the extreme personal inconvenience of leaving home to go to the most dangerous spot honor to serve
our nation. america has been blessed with sons and daughters in view that unwavering sense of purpose to something greater than self, as dead as sense of duty to a nationhat we all -- a steadfast sense of duty to a nation we all love. it has led so many to give what president obama called the last full measure of devotion to safeguard our principles, mainly life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. as it was in lexington and concord, it is still today from bunker hill to basra and kandahar, the price of liberty has been paid by the
valor of young americans to put principle and i feel the force of interest, comfort or safety. all too often their noble service ended in life altering injuring, stark reminders of freedom's costs. there are few who have given more to our country than the 3 million disabled veterans living amongst us. this tomorrow is putting tribute to patriots who answered the call of duty and you have -- and to have showed as a quality of courage in which we can only marvel. in the saddle of our nation's capital, and the disabled for life memorial will stand as an enduring tribute for the
towering courage, a selfless sacrifice, and staff as loyalty of all of our disabled veterans. it symbolizes the strain of their warrior heritage -- the strength of their warrior heritage and will refirm their heroism. the passage of time will not dim the memory of such selfless service. i extend personal regards and profound respect for your sacrifice. on behalf of the department of veteran affairs, i offer you our respect and admiration for your service and courage in living life every day. on behalf of president obama, i extend to you the heartfelt thanks, a great respect and
dignity for you from your commander in chief. may god bless those suits served in to have served in the nation's armed forces and they got continue to bless this wonderful country of ours. thank you very much. >> thank you for your inspiring words. now the moment we have all been waiting for. are from brokers take their place? -- may i have our distinguished groundbreakers take their place t?